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Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

Naming Ben Franklin

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Cecily McGee, Mullumbimby

It’s very misleading for the Byron Shire Echo to repeatedly give Ben Franklin free media coverage,  as in the article about the Mullumbimby Drill Hall on 24 February 2021. There were fourteen people in the Drill Hall photo. Only Liz Chance, Artistic Director and Ben Franklin got a mention:  weren’t any of the other twelve people worthy of a name check?

Just so Echo readers know, Ben Franklin is one of 42 members of the NSW Government’s upper house (Legislative Council). He doesn’t particularly represent the local area, but like the other 41 MLCs, his responsibilities cover the whole state of NSW. Ben Franklin lives in the region and chooses to have an office in Ballina – that’s his local credentials.

Our local member is Tamara Smith, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Ballina. Tamara Smith  is a member of the NSW Government and could have equally claimed credit for the $146,850 grant from the Stronger Country Communities Fund.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Cecily,
    Ms Tamara Smith was invited to the Opening, but was unable to attend.
    Technically Mr Franklin, while not a local representative, is a representative member of the Liberal / National Coalition State Government that awarded the Drill Hall the refurbishment grant. As one of the other twelve people in the photo, I was happy to not be name checked.
    But I agree, Ben does seem to enjoy getting his face in the paper… as do a lot of politicians.

  2. Once again Tamara Smith invited to an event but “unable to attend”, like so many events she is invited to. And have you ever tried to get an appointment to meet with your local MP or speak with her on the phone? It’s a 3 month wait – and before you blame COVID, it’s been that way since she was elected in 2015. Ben Franklin deserves to get his name and face in the paper because he actually shows up and takes an interest.

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